It isn’t soul-crushingly awful…by then again, it’s not far off, says Ryan Pollard in his review of War Pigs featuring Dolph Lundgren and Mickey Rourke.
Disgraced World War II Army Captain Jack Wosick (Luke Goss) is given the opportunity for redemption when asked to lead a rag-tag unit of delinquents known as “the War Pigs” on a top-secret mission to go behind enemy lines to uncover and capture a Nazi developed Super Weapon the V3, a massive artillery cannon that would give the Nazis an insurmountable advantage against the Allies. With the help of Captain Hans Picault (Dolph Lundgren), a German Anti-Nazi serving with the French Foreign Legion and Colonel AJ Redding (Mickey Rourke), a battle hardened WWI veteran, Jack must train, lead and earn the respect of his new squad to become a functioning reconnaissance unit.
War Pigs is essentially an action B-movie in the style of a generic war film, and whilst there is some merit to it, it is laughably dull and overladen with war movie clichés everyone will have seen countless times before. You have the troubled soldier being recruited by the old brass Colonel to train soldiers to undertake what sounds like a suicide mission, and even on paper, this concept sounds far too familiar and unoriginal. The war movie is a tricky thing to pull off and get right, and many movies with a better cast and production have had mixed results. War Pigs has none of the polished delivery, nor the gritty nature to pull off this kind of scale. It’s simply a few men bantering for an hour and a half.
Apart from the lack of danger, the action scenes themselves don’t have any real weight or physicality to them, looking incredibly cheap, stilted and amateurish as a result. If you look at something like last year’s Fury, which even though flawed, offered a gruelling and visceral approach to bloody battles and tank warfare, whereas this has none of that. Plus, the amount of action onscreen lasts for a mere 10-15 minutes out of the total 90-minute running time. In the hands of a more experienced filmmaker and screenwriter, this might’ve been a passable film, but what’s offered here is just flat and ultimately average. As far as the actors are concerned, Luke Goss doesn’t have the chops to convincingly portray the tortured commander, Chuck Liddell is reduced to a glorified cameo, Mickey Rourke looks like he’s desperate to be in another movie and Dolph Lungren just looks desperate.
As a whole, whilst War Pigs isn’t soul-crushingly terrible, it certainly doesn’t have the depth or complexity to do the cerebral war theme justice, lacking the production quality to fully capitalise on the action-oriented cast and it’s far from authentic to appeal to the die-hard fans of the sub-genre, only giving off a sense of desolation and tediousness instead.